Taking Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements May Raise Men’s Risk of Prostate Cancer

 A new study shows ingesting Omega-3 fatty acids may increase the risk of prostate cancer in men. Scientists in the United States compared blood samples from more than 2,000 men. Their study found that the supplement increased the risk of aggressive prostate cancer by 71%. Taking omega-3 was also associated with a 44% greater chance of developing low-grade prostate cancer. Overall, the fatty acids raised the risk of all prostate cancers by 43%.

“We’ve shown once again that use of nutritional supplements may be harmful,” author Dr. Alan Kristal, member of the Fred Hutch Public Health Sciences Division in Seattle, Wash., said in a press release.

The authors said they were surprised that omega-3 fatty acids increased the risk of prostate cancer, because the compound has been shown to lower inflammation. Inflammation problems have been linked to the growth and development of many other cancers. They still do not know why the fish oils may be so bad for this particular disease, but they suspect that the omega-3 fatty acids may turn into a compound in the body that can damage cells and DNA. This in turn may affect the body’s natural defenses against disease.

The researchers said further study is needed to uncover the mechanisms that might cause omega-3 to drive prostate cancer.

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